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Religious Freedom

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Most people living in the United States assume that their first amendment rights, more specifically freedom of religion, are inherent; and they are. Religion has a long history; the first recorded religion was in Mesopotamia around 5000 BCE (Britannica). With more and more countries becoming modernized and recognizing people's individual rights, however, how many still deny freedom of religion? Is separating church and state an indispensable element in protecting a citizen's freedom of religion, or could some laws attaining to religion be beneficial in protecting religious freedom? This essay's function is to answer the above questions and give a further understanding to religious freedom around the world. One of the main reasons why pilgrims decided to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to a new world in 1620 was to escape the religious persecution in England (Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick). A lot may argue that this is why religious freedom (and for the most part today, tolerance) ...read more.


(US Department of State). Like I stated before, and as many Americans know, the first amendment to the Constitution declares separation of church and state; it expressively declares that no law shall infringe upon or discriminate against any religion. One must ask himself, then, why is every piece of currency in the US engraved with the phrase "In God We Trust", or why does the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States include the phrase "Under God"? These two cases, although controversial, bring up an interesting point. Because this essay is an evaluation essay as apposed to a persuasive work, I will not discuss or imply my positions on these phrases; rather, we must realize that the basis for these phrases foster a more interesting idea: is total separation of church and state in the best interest of the common citizen? In a 100% atheistic government, there would be no law favoring a religion, but at the same time, there would be none protecting the establishment or worship of another (a law protecting this would actually be reversed discrimination, therefore discrimination in itself). ...read more.


Is it the United State's job to help spread a belief of religious tolerance in this world? How should we go about doing it if so? If not, do we only take a defensive stance toward another terrorist attack like 9/11? Our only option is to sit back and see how the War Against Terror plays out and how other extremist groups respond. I'm just glad I live in a country where I get to believe what I want, think what I want, wear what I want, and be myself. In conclusion, there are many different religions in this world, and every country takes its own approach in tolerance. In the United States, we have laws pertaining to the separation of church and state along with laws restricting discrimination due to religion. Terrorism is more prominent than ever, and 9/11 enacted a War Against Terror that still rages on today. Maybe one day, the world will see eye-to-eye on religious tolerance, but until then, let's be glad that we live in a country where we get to worship whatever we want. ...read more.

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